Imagine feeling empowered and supported as you take your first steps towards healing. We know that a strong patient-physician relationship is crucial to your recovery journey. The surest way of getting back to your healthy self is through patient-centered care where you feel supported on your path to health and wellness.
With an experienced and compassionate physician by your side, the road to recovery is simple; they are there to help you navigate the challenges of surgery, injury and acute or chronic illnesses with precision and care. A medical specialist will be your biggest advocate every step of the way to ensure you are receiving the highest level of care possible. Below, we discuss the different kinds of doctors that can help you get back to living your best life.
Physiatrists, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Dealing with a debilitating medical condition that’s affecting your ability to move and function can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Physiatrists are experts in diagnosing and treating a range of conditions that affect different parts of your body, including the brain, your nervous system, spinal cord, joints, tendons and ligaments, muscles and more. Unlike surgical treatments, these specialists focus on improving your function and performance without the need for surgery.
Your treatment may include a variety of approaches, such as strengthening exercises, medication, stretching, or massages. Dedicated to building up personal strength and resilience, a physiatrist’s expertise can help you get back to doing the activities you love without restraint.
How a Visit with a Physiatrist Can Help You Regain Function
A physiatrist will stand by your side throughout your rehabilitation journey as a motivator and a support system. They will also help you define short- and long-term goals that best cater to your medical needs so that you can feel rejuvenated and confident with every step you take. Together, your physiatrist will work alongside you to develop a treatment plan that doesn’t exacerbate the problem, but instead focuses on strengthening your mobility with low-impact activities and exercises.
Surgical and Non-Surgical Orthopedists
Living with joint pain, torn ligaments or conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome can be a real hindrance when performing life’s daily activities. These are only some, to name a few, of the conditions that an orthopedist can diagnose and treat. Orthopedists treat pain, fractures and injuries related to the musculoskeletal system and its interconnected parts – muscles, bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, and nerves – of varying severity.
There are two types of orthopedists, each specializing in different areas of treatment:
A surgical orthopedist focuses on surgeries and operative treatments to help with a range of issues, from total joint replacement to fracture repair and spinal fusion. They have the knowledge and experience to perform complex procedures and are well-versed in the latest surgical techniques.
A non-surgical orthopedist explores non-operative options and may work in one of the several branches of orthopedic medicine, such as physiatry, physical medicine, or rehabilitation. Non-surgical orthopedists often offer treatments like medication, physical therapy, injections, acupuncture, mobility aids and home exercise programs as a relief option.
How an Orthopedist Can Help You Get the Relief You Need
Feeling worried about a musculoskeletal problem is completely normal. While not quite knowing what’s causing the problem or what kind of treatment you need can be scary, it’s important to know that you are not alone. With a simple consultation, an orthopedist can help alleviate any feelings of uncertainty and provide you with the clarity and insight you need to move forward with confidence. During your appointment, an orthopedist will use a variety of diagnostic procedures to confirm your condition. This may include reviewing your medical record and X-rays, performing scans, conducting a physical examination, or other diagnostic tests. Once your diagnosis is confirmed, they will recommend a personalized treatment plan tailored to your needs.
Neurologists: What Do They Specialize In?
A neurologist is a medical physician and professional that focuses on diagnosing and treating conditions that impact the nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord. These experts also address issues related to your five senses, such as touch, feel, sight, smell and sound, which can be a byproduct of a nervous system problem. Whether you’re struggling with symptoms like headaches, migraines, dizziness, or confusion, or dealing with chronic conditions like epilepsy, multiple sclerosis or Alzheimer’s disease, a neurologist can help.
During an examination, these specialists will administer a physical test and monitor your strength, reflexes, coordination and sensations experienced. They will also conduct a neurological exam using diagnostic tools and procedures so they can provide targeted and precise relief to your condition. This may include measuring the electrical activity in your brain through an EMG/EEG test, performing a CT, MRI, or PET scan, or conducting a lumbar puncture.
Can a Neurologist Help Me with My Post-Concussion Syndrome?
Lingering concussion symptoms that persist long after the concussion recovery time – typically more than a couple weeks – can be a real nuisance. They impair your ability to function at your best. Since neurologists are brain specialists, they can provide you with the active rehabilitation necessary for a successful recovery. This may be in the form of exercise, physical therapy, cognitive therapy, prescribed medications, or natural remedies. They will choose the appropriate treatment path for you based on the results of your physical and neurological test results. A neurologist may also work alongside other physicians, such as a psychologist, to accelerate your treatment.
Pain Management Specialists: How They Can Treat Your Pain
Pain management specialists are physicians who have undergone advanced training to provide an accurate diagnosis of pain, pinpointing the cause and underlying conditions leading to it. With a core focus on tissue disorders, nerve/nervous system disorders, and mixed pain disorders, pain management specialists take a holistic approach to treatment that can alleviate your pain and improve your quality of life. By using natural treatments like massage, physical therapy, and acupuncture, they can reduce your reliance on pain medications as well as help you avoid surgery and help you regain mobility and independence.
Visit a Pain Management Specialist for Advanced Pain Treatment
Unlike other doctors who may focus on surgery or medication as the first line of treatment, pain management specialists generally use nonsurgical, interventional treatments. These specialists often apply a diverse treatment approach, using different modalities in combination or as complementary to another form of treatment. For some injuries or illnesses, physical therapy alone may not be enough, which is why many pain management specialists offer injection treatments. Pain numbing injections, such as nerve blocks and spinal injections, or lubricating injections, such as viscosupplementation, are just a couple of injection treatments available. Injections are a minimally invasive procedure that can significantly reduce a patient’s pain.
Psychologists: Mental Health Specialists
Visiting a psychologist can have a powerful impact on your overall wellbeing. Unlike medication-focused approaches, psychologists provide open lines of communication through counselling sessions, mental exercises, and referrals to other specialists as needed. Psychologists understand that pain isn’t just physical – it can also take a toll on your mental health.
Psychologists provide both short- and long-term treatment options designed to reduce symptoms and restore quality of life. This may look like cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, or psychotherapy. Through these forms of treatment, a psychologist can discover the root of the health problem and provide you with a new set of mental skills to help navigate through life with a more positive outlook.
Work with a Medical Specialist for the Best Treatment Results
Whether your condition is acute or chronic, a specialist can provide the expertise and care you need to feel better and regain your quality of life. With a physiatrist, orthopedist, neurologist, or psychologist by your side, you can trust that you are in good hands and that each will provide the expertise and care you need to achieve long-lasting results. With help from a medical specialist, you can regain control of your life with ease and enjoy the joy and freedom that comes with pain-free living.
Medical Rehabilitation Centers of PA has a medical specialist for every type of medical need here in Philadelphia. Don’t suffer in silence any longer – contact us today to schedule an appointment with us or come visit us in person at one of our seven locations.